Our practice just hired a new midwife, and welcoming her into the workplace has provided a great opportunity for self-reflection.
Our new hire proved to be a capable and welcome addition to our team as a student midwife last fall, so when one of our midwives moved away in January, we hired her. After wading through the mounds of paperwork, licensing fees and credentialing packets, she was finally able to start working in July.
During the first month she practically floated around the office, thrilled be an official practitioner and no longer a student. She still offers to see new patients, to do extra work and is always pleasant and smiling.
Watching her, I am reminded that I was in her shoes exactly four years ago. I was equally happy, positive and full of energy, because I was finally doing the work I’d waited so long to do. But looking in that mirror also makes me realize the toll work has taken on my attitude.
Long hours, ever-increasing demands, pressure to see more patients in less time, insurance battles and office politics are just of the few things that leave me feeling drained. Add to that the constant giving of self that is part and parcel of being a good healthcare provider, and you have a recipe for career fatigue.
Despite the burnout, observing our new midwife’s positive attitude and enthusiasm has reminded me to seek out and appreciate the joy in my everyday work.
Two weeks ago, I diagnosed a twin gestation during a routine OB intake visit. The sheer surprise, happiness and stunned shock of the parents left me smiling all day.
Last night, I had the pleasure of catching a baby. It was the second birth I’ve attended for this mom in the past two years. The parents were thrilled that I was present for both of their daughters’ births. They reminded me that I’d told them during the first long labor that the second time around would be easier and faster. (It WAS!)
Once I start looking for the positives, I realized the list is endless in my profession. I’m lucky enough to share in some of the most beautiful and intimate moments of women’s lives. I meet interesting, strong and amazing women every day, and they trust me to care for them.
It is far too easy to get bogged down by the many demands and stressors of being a medical practitioner. Reminding yourself of the pleasures you felt as a new provider and appreciating the positive moments during even the most stressful or endless day can help you feel rejuvenated. Now if only we could do something about those insurance issues.
Robyn Carlisle, MSN, CNM, WHNP, works as a full-scope midwife at University Doctors and Kennedy University Hospital in Sewell, N.J.